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1941 Ford Pickup: Wiring and More

by Dave on May 15, 2015


Our good friend Marc Kaplan has three pick-ups underway. They’re all totally different and all totally bitchen — but I’m not sure whether to envy him or write him off as certifiably nuts. To take some of the load off his plate, he decided to bring his ’41 Ford into us for wiring.

It’s a cool truck, and well on its way to completion. The paint, a darkened shade of Ford’s Cloud Mist Grey, is brand new and beautiful — but would present a challenge on a number of levels. It would have to be protected, and it would keep us from welding or mounting anything to the firewall. For this reason we opted to mount the fuse panel and accompanying relays and electrical components under the seat. We began by drawing up a wiring diagram specifically for the project.


Because the panel would be under the seat, the routing of wires to and from the dash and out to the various circuits would be a little more complicated — so we also put together a porting plan. All the routing, conduit, grommets, etc were sorted out and sized before we drilled anywhere in the freshly painted body.
Before we could begin wiring up under the dash, a couple of other details had to be completed. First, the firewall and kick panel insulation had to be fit and installed and the throttle pedal mounted. Marc had begun installation of the wipers which we completed – and confirmed would not interfere with the cowl vent mechanism. We cleaned up the vent hardware and began installation, only to discover the painter, for whatever reason, had laid down a quarter inch of filler in the cowl vent channel. By carefully removing material from the gasket, we were able to get the vent door to both seal and to sit flush with the body when closed.

Marc also wanted a heater and defroster. The original defrost manifolds, which are specific to the ’41 pick-up, were long gone — and are not repopped. We fabbed up a couple of adaptors – which will be hidden by the windshield garnish.

The area under the seat was insulated, and a panel fabbed to mount the electrical. The face of the seat riser became home for the battery kill switch and a power port for Marc’s cell phone.

How much easier it would’ve been if ’41 dashboards came out of the cab. They don’t, they’re welded in place. If the glass had been in, this job would’ve really been a ball buster. Just a head’s up for truck builders…

Marc found an early-60’s Ford truck column with cancelling turn signals and adapted it to the ’41. It looks factory; I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of these columns in traditionally styled builds. He used a neutral safety switch from Limeworks that hides down at the base of the column. Check the restored/updated dash panel from gauge-guru Lee Kelly.

All done, loaded up, and ready to go home to Marc’s shop. The vintage plaid seat cover material is a swap meet score that looks right at home.

From → Past Projects

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